Lock, Stock and Tourists over a Barrel; (1) Locals: Ritchie and Madonna Bought the Punchbowl, around the Corner from Their Home, for ?2.5M (2) Quiz: The Punchbowl in Mayfair Where Staff Allegedly Have One Price for the Regulars and a Higher One for Tourists

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 7, 2008 | Go to article overview

Lock, Stock and Tourists over a Barrel; (1) Locals: Ritchie and Madonna Bought the Punchbowl, around the Corner from Their Home, for ?2.5M (2) Quiz: The Punchbowl in Mayfair Where Staff Allegedly Have One Price for the Regulars and a Higher One for Tourists


Byline: BENEDICT MOORE-BRIDGER

MADONNA and Guy Ritchie's Mayfair pub is set to be investigated for charging tourists and regulars different prices, the Standard can reveal.

It is one of a series of alleged breaches which, at worst, could see the 18thcentury pub lose its licence six months after it was bought by the couple.

Ritchie and Madonna spent a reported ?2.5 million on the Punchbowl, in Farm Street, in February this year, buying it from their friend Greg Foreman, son of gangster Freddie Foreman.

It is a favourite of Hollywood stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Barbra Streisand and situated around the corner from the couple's London home.

But the pub is now set to be investigated by Westminster council after it emerged that tariffs have not been displayed to customers a legal requirement and bar staff have allegedly offered reduced prices to locals but increased the cost of a pint to tourists.

Drinkers said the difference was as much as 40p a pint.

Brian Richardson, 52, said that when he complained about being charged ?3.90 for a pint instead of the usual ?3.50, a member of staff told him they charged more to people they didn't recognise. Despite having used the pub for 12 years, he apparently was charged the "tourist" rate.

He said: "On Monday I paid ?3.50 for a pint, now all of a sudden it's ?3.90. I was shocked. I complained to staff. They have got two prices regulars prices and non-regulars prices.

"There is no price list on the wall. I don't mind paying more but it is completely arbitrary. It is not the money, it is the price hike. It is outrageous. …

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Lock, Stock and Tourists over a Barrel; (1) Locals: Ritchie and Madonna Bought the Punchbowl, around the Corner from Their Home, for ?2.5M (2) Quiz: The Punchbowl in Mayfair Where Staff Allegedly Have One Price for the Regulars and a Higher One for Tourists
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